Police Detain Protesters Outside Netanyahu's Jerusalem Residence as Demos Resume

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Police officers carry away a protester in anti-Netanyahu protests in Jerusalem, January 2, 2021.
Police officers carry away a protester in anti-Netanyahu protests in Jerusalem, January 2, 2021. Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg

Israel Police detained on Saturday 11 anti-government protesters outside the prime minister's official residence in Jerusalem, amid demonstrations across Israel, which have entered their 28th week. 

The remaining protesters, who numbered around 100 in the afternoon, were removed from the street leading to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence and relocated to Keren Hayesod Street, which is further away from the residence.

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Later on in the evening, thousands more protesters joined them in Jerusalem, and more in hundreds of other locations nationwide, including outside Netanyahu's private residence in Caesarea. Dozens of protesters came out to several locations in Tel Aviv.

Israel Police said two minors aged 14 and 15 were arrested, after they hurled rocks at anti-Netanyahu protesters in the nornern town of Yavne’el, close to the Kinneret. 

Clashes in Jerusalem, January 2, 2021.

The police said in a statement that "earlier in the evening, a complaint was received regarding stone throwing [in Yavne'el], and one of the demonstrators was lightly injured as a result. Police officers gathered findings and opened an investigation into the matter, and shortly afterwards the minors were arrested." 

Earlier Saturday, a convoy with several dozen cars representing the Arab-Jewish "Standing Together" movement drove through a few towns, and ended in a demonstration close to the Government Office in Nazareth. 

The Black Flag movement said in a statement: “The incitement and violence won’t stop us on waging a war to save Israel's democracy. The attempted murder, the car ramming attacks and the arson won’t scare us, the continuation of Israel’s democracy depends on our determination and struggle.”

The Movement for Quality Government in Israel, one of the organizers of the protests, said: “With the elections around the corner, we won’t let the transitional government’s corruption ruin democracy or squash any basic norms. We aren’t scared, and we’re not stopping, even in a lockdown.”

On Thursday, hundreds of people demonstrated against Netanyahu in several locations across Israel, with dozens of protesters blocking a major junction in central Tel Aviv.

Some 200 people demonstrated on Tel Aviv's Azrieli Junction, some of which had marched from Habima Square. The junction was blocked by protesters calling for the opening of an inquiry into the so-called 'submarine affair'. 

In the northern city of Binyamina, dozens of Netanyahu supporters staged a counter protest, some clashing with the police and anti-Netanyahu protesters.   

According to the police, anti-Netanyahu protesters began marching in Binyamina, violating the agreement between protesters and the police.

The police also said that they tried to keep the protesters off the road for their own safety. One anti-Netanyahu protester was arrested on suspicion of assaulting police officers.  

Netanyahu is on trial in three corruption cases, facing charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust. Protesters have demanded the premier resign over his indictment, which he dismisses as a "conspiracy" by the left-wing to take him down. 

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